Another Introduction

I find it impossible to introduce myself in writing to strangers, telling them a little bit about me in a way that helps them understand who I am. I worry about the  image my self-description creates.

WTF?

I’m certainly not a gray-haired granny knitting booties from a rocker but I do have nine grandchildren. I don’t knit, though. I try it every couple of years. My fingers are too fat. The work is mindless. The instructions are the stuff of metaphysical science and I can’t understand them.

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Justice: Another Commodity in the Brotherhood of Men

Twenty minutes

Rapist and the Rapist’s father

Rape: the Inconvenient Crime

I am just a tiny bit skeptical about all the brouhaha over the bug-eyed, chinless rapist with his little swimmer’s hair Afro.  The one who got nearly a free pass for raping a 23-year-old unconscious woman. After all, both parents of the rapist have expressed how sad and depressed he is after the raping.  He hardly smiles anymore, they said. He’s too delicate to survive in prison, his mother told the judge.  He’s even taken on the “binge-drinking” cause and plans to let others know what a bad thing it is to consume copious amounts of alcohol. Violent rape is hardly worth mentioning but binge drinking is a really bad idea. His family is really proud of him for taking this on. Bless their hearts.

rapist parents 1(2)Neither the rapist nor his parents have publicly acknowledged the violent rape. It’s just too unseemly for people like the Turners and besides, they’re really, really busy worrying about all that alcohol kids drink these days. Drunkenness is the real crime here, they’ve suggested. I mean come on, the parents of the rapist are professionals.  They have relationships in the community.  The rapist was a Boy Scout and an athlete.  Just on those two merits alone he deserves his 20 minutes of action without the heavy consequence of a proper punishment. Either way, he’ll likely be released early for “good behavior” (translation: choosing masturbation over forced copulation? Only consensual sex from here on out? Keeping the cell bunk neatly tucked in like a good Boy Scout?), but still, this drinking thing has the whole family upset. They surely don’t deserve to be inconvenienced like this.

Folks all over the country are acting like this is some kind of isolated incident.  Like it’s a big deal that this kid isn’t being punished suitably for forcing his venerated man parts into a sleeping woman for twenty minutes. After all, HE WAS A BOY SCOUT! And, his mother is really brokenhearted that her rapist son and his family and friends have been put through all this inconvenience.  It’s really upset them all, she says.

Rapist

The rapist’s family clearly has connections—they certainly connected with Judge Aaron Persky, a Stanford graduate himself and a fine upstanding man with precious male parts of his own. Persky also refused to award punitive damages to another rape victim because he saw photos of her wearing skimpy clothes and acting sexy. Of all the nerve she had, asking for justice. Surely she wanted to be raped, the little vamp.

Asshole

Grand Poobah, Brotherhood of men

Here’s the thing.  This rapist got a stiffer sentence than most white rapists. If only the rapist named Brock Turner were black.  He’d be in jail for 20 years. People simply cannot expect these white, college boy, frat-boy, athletic, well-connected rich kid rapists and their families to be bothered with whiny rape victims.

I mean, just imagine how uncomfortable it would be for the fathers of these rapists on the golf course and country clubs with that tawdry nonsense mucking up their business relationships. And just think of the siblings and friends of the rapist, why, they’d be made to feel uncomfortable for a minute or two.  That’s just too much to ask.

The ugly reality here is that these pasty-faced rapists go unpunished more often than not with the full support of their parents and friends and the criminal justice system.  Rape victims are made out to be partially at fault and, therefore, fully at fault. The message is clearly that these silly rape victims just need to quit bothering the rapists and their families and judges. I mean, it’s just twenty minutes for g*d’s sake, lie still and shut up already.

 


 

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I’m Hangry. Please Don’t Jack Around

WARNING:  I’m a big fan of foul language. The following post includes a pinch of spicy and green leafy cuss words. Please avoid this article if you have delicate sensibilities.recipes1

 

Dear Foodie Blogger,

For the love of God, please choose  – preferably in the advanced planning stages before launching your wonderful new blog, whether you are a storyteller, photographer, or, and this is a big one…a fucking cook.  Because here’s the thing:  YOUR BLOG CAN’T BE ALL THREE.  At least not very well.  And definitely not if you want me to subscribe and tell all my friends about it.

I get it.  I know what you are trying to do.  I’ve seen it done well but not often, and not unless you can legitimately add graphic artist to your resume and know how to skillfully design a page with photos of sumptuous food logically arranged around the ACTUAL RECIPE IN A READABLE FORMAT. That’s a lot of work for the average Foodie blogger.  Try not to get too fancy about it.  If you don’t pay a large staff to do everything except the cooking, just post the recipe with a few photos of the finished product. Really. That’s all you need. If you absolutely must write a 17-paragraph narrative about the recipe, maybe do it after you’ve posted the ingredients and cooking directions.  A couple of people will be interested.  Not me but maybe some others.

I love and enjoy each of these specific blog genres  – storytelling, photography and cooking –  but when combing them, if they each carry equal weight, what you end up with is a blog that is, at first glance, big and beautiful and envy-inducing, “Oh my God I wish my hot dogs looked this pretty!”  On further inspection, however,  when I’m trying to find the actual recipe, if the blog becomes complicated and confusing because I’m spending way too many of my expensive minutes searching and scrolling and clicking and pressing arrows to find the F&(*ing  ingredients or oven temp, you’ve lost me in a mad fury.

 

Yum

Bologna sandwich with huge tomato slice. Easy.

The photos may be stunning, the narrative captivating and the actual recipe may be to die for – but I’ll never know. And just so you know, right before I slam my cursor on the X at the top right side of your page, I’ve uttered several violent missives directly at you. Personally. Likely something uncouth about your waste management apparatus. I’m hateful like that.

If your blog is a slice-of-life narrative about how you’ve gotten healthy and trim following a certain eating plan, I’ll follow along because I love stories of success and personal victory.  I love seeing the before and after photos and I’m inspired to try your plan  with you and encourage you along the way.  But that’s different. I only read those blogs when I’m already too full and disgusted with my piggish self. When I’m hungry I don’t care how fat I am.  That’s the point.

If I’m looking for a recipe, bets are, I’m hungry, I’m in a hurry, I have a slab of thawed meat I don’t know what to do with, and likely several people standing around asking me what we (translate: me) are doing about dinner.  If all of these elements happen to be in place at the same time, which they so often are, I may also be approaching homicidal. Now is not the time for me to read about your personal relationship with lean, non-GMO, organic, grass-feed, free-range pork steak. Your farm-to-table adventures hold no sway with me. I especially don’t give any effs about how you filched the recipe from your husband’s mother after she accidentally ate a magic brownie in the backseat of a yellow Volkswagen in 1973.  I swear I don’t. That story is only interesting to you and your siblings.  And maybe your children if they’re old enough to be told about the ‘70s.

If I have to click more than once to get to the actual directions on how to make the recipe—I’m gone. Tempted to do a slideshow style recipe?  Lose my number. I’ll never be back.

Seriously?

Seriously?

Generally speaking, and I’m guessing I’m in the majority here, when I’m looking for a specific kind of food or recipe, I Google it.  I need directions for an interesting way to make something to eat. Something different for a change.  I’m looking for an easy-to-read list of ingredients and directly below/beside that list- the actual directions to mix it all up and cook it.  I don’t want editorial comments after each ingredient. I know cumin is spicy.  I’ll cut it back if I’m feeding kids or sissies. I know cilantro is pungent. You don’t need to warn me that if I don’t like it I should use less.  Let’s assume here that I have at least an iota of cooking experience.  I know where the kitchen is. I know how to turn on the stove. Trust me.  Also, if you must tell me in the list of supplies needed section that I should use a clean cutting board (as opposed to…. what?  A dirty one?), you’ve misunderestimated me. I can’t like you at all and maybe forever if you say something like that. If I’m smart enough to find your blog, you must trust me as a reader.  I know about Hepatitis.  I was in the army.

I love a good story.  I’m a huge fan of photography blogs.  I’m always searching for good recipes.  I never combine these activities. I don’t have time.  Here’s a news flash: NOBODY HAS TIME.

I block out daily reading times and (too) often, I allow myself some (precious) online minutes to admire the interesting collections of art and photos on various blogs, including food blogs. But not when I’m hungry.  When it’s dinner time, I’m looking for food ideas.   I want the deets, the 411, the goddamned ingredients. I don’t want the history of Turmeric and beet juice in America. I also don’t’ want to do an additional search to find out how many shrimps make up eight ounces or what size package of meat makes up “28 ounces of pork roast” (1.75#s, FYI).  For God’s sake.  That’s just cruel. Please. Be merciful. One more thing here while we’re discussing mercy: any recipe that calls for “X amount of cups plus 1/2 teaspoon” is just showing off. Just trying to make the author look like some kind of fancy chef. I mean really.  That extra 1/2 teaspoon is more or less a few pinches. Everybody knows that. Don’t be fancy. You lose credibility.

 

The big payoff in being a considerate Foodie Blogger is that if I like the recipes I’ll be back for more.  I’ll subscribe.  I’ll re-blog.  I’ll spread the word like a cupful of softened butter. I’ll tolerate the annoying ads because I get how that works and I appreciate what you are doing.  I’ll even click the ads if they interest me because again, I get it. I do draw the line though with auto-play video ads.  I’ll only stick around long enough to damn you to hell before I click the X and be gone from your site. Forever. Have some respect. Or, lose me. Either way. Plenty of Sushi in the sea. I don’t need a science lesson or a fun story on how you learned to properly boil water.  I need dinner.

Meh... not bad.

So-so Mexican food from a local place. For when Google is down.

My one and only Foodie Post:

Best Black Bean Soup

I’ve never done a foodie post and I may not do another one. This one, half-assed at best, I only thought of while I was making my favorite black bean soup. So, bear with me while I try something completely new. The post, that is. The soup I make fairly often.  Read Article

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TBT: Swimming With The Fishes

I haven’t written anything I can publish for public consumption lately but I came across a photo I promised to share with Sir Ozzy a long time ago.

It’s a photo of me fishing with my Uncle Joe a thousand years ago in the Florida Keys.  Joe was my dad’s brother, the two of them formidable members of the Fighting Bell Boys and along with the third member of this obscure but infamous trio, is retired to the great beyond. At least two of the Fighting Bell Boys are remembered with some measure of fondness.  My father isn’t one of those.

The boat was rumored to be owned by Jimmy Hoffa (uncle Joe had connections, he told me).  I ate a  raw shrimp on a dare that day.  All sailors eat raw shrimp, the fishermen told me. Looking back I realize it was just another cruel joke I fell for in my youth – never one to pass up a challenge of my grit and determination to fit in… somewhere.

I don’t have bad memories of this particular trip – it’s all part of the strange texture of my life.

fishing1

Be sure to check out Sir Ozzy’s blog for fun stories about his travels.

**I forgot to add that I caught several of those fish on the table there.  My stomach was black and blue the  next day from the fishing pole.**

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Nursing. It’s for Other People

shotI wrote this short piece for my blogroll blog and I don’t have many followers over there so I thought I’d drop a link here to share a quick story.  Also there is a link to one of my favorite bloggers (nutsrok).

 

 

I encouraged and consoled and used my best confidence-building pep talks during these calls but I worried.  I was out of my league. I could no more be a nurse than fly to the moon.  I lack empathy.  Continue…

 

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“Other” Lane Discovered in Leavenworth County

 

screamerLeavenworth County, Kan. –Reports early Saturday afternoon indicate unusual behavior for drivers headed south on Kan. Highway 7, just outside of Lansing, Kansas.  Several witnesses called the station with similar reports of Leavenworth County (LvCo) drivers operating vehicles while in the right-hand lane as they traveled south on the highway.

One witness said she saw several southbound LvCo drivers gripping the steering wheel, “…(they were) white-knuckled, with expressions of abject terror on their faces.  A passenger in one car had her eyes covered with her hands and appeared to be screaming,” the witness said.  “I’ve never in my life seen a driver from Leavenworth County driving in the right-hand lane.  It was terrifying.”

Another witness reported that at least one driver in the left lane was gesturing wildly to the drivers in the right lane to get back over to the “normal” driving lane. The driver was screaming, “What are you doing over there?” the witness said.

The station sent teams of reporters to the surrounding area to investigate the unusual event and eventually revealed that a possible rumor originating at the IHOP in Leavenworth, Kan. may have caused the chaos on K-7 Highway. Diners at the restaurant apparently overheard an out-of-towner describe K-7 as a “four-lane highway,” suggesting an additional lane going in both directions on the south and northbound highway.

Several LvCo residents left their partially eaten lunches behind in the booths as they rushed out to the parking lot to get to their vehicles, according to John Smith, the restaurant manager. “They were all very curious to see if there really is another lane on the right side of K-7. I personally can’t imagine believing in that ‘other’ lane,” Smith said.  “I wonder if they also believe in Santa Claus. They must feel like big stupid fools.”

“Those dummies are in for a shock.  I hope they at least come back later and pay for their damn lunches,” an IHOP waitress remarked.

One diner in the restaurant, a resident of Wyandotte County, expressed disbelief about the event. “It’s like they don’t realize that there is a left lane to be used for passing and turning while the right lane is used for cruising.  I mean, highways are designed like that  all over the country and these people have never noticed that there is another lane on the highway. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

A few of the right-lane drivers returned to the restaurant later in the day to finish lunch and pay for their meals.  By some accounts the drivers appeared to be in something of a daze and at least two drivers were admitted to St. John’s emergency room where they were treated for extreme anxiety.

Reporters asked the LvCo police officer stationed at the entrance to the Wildwoods Mobile Home Park in Lansing, Kan., to shed some light on the brief and apparently horrifying phenomenon.  “I’m not sure what just happened,” officer Speedick said.  “I had almost met my afternoon quota of 49 speeding tickets when all of a sudden I noticed several drivers in another lane–over to the right of the left lane. Like, I mean, they were just driving along in that ‘other’ lane. I haven’t had any training on LvCo drivers who don’t use the left lane for regular driving. My mind is kind of blown here.  I’ll be glad when my shift is over.”

Two reporters remained on the scene for several hours to see if any other Leavenworth County drivers had heard the rumor about the “other” lane but there is no evidence that the rumor spread any further.  All indications are that highway traffic is back to normal on K-7 southbound. The “other” lane is being investigated by local FBI agents.  Check back here for updates to the story.

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An Actual Story of Tears and Exclamations!

cry-baby

Crying has become a bit of a social meme if you ask me—a verbal emoticon😥. It all started with the World Wide Web, and let’s be honest, the sum total of all that amazing technology: Facebook (okay and Google). The natural evolution of all this immediate and 24/7 connectedness is the “News Feed,” which may include actual news from actual news organizations; local and international if you click on things just right.

More and more often, news actors post “news stories” on social media sites and there’s one in particular in my local area which I won’t name, that routinely includes headlines with editorial directives such as, “Grab a Tissue This Story is a Real Heart Wrencher!!!” And, “See if you Can Keep from Crying Over This Sad Story!!” And, perhaps the quintessential example of the degradation of journalism in America: “This Story Is So Sad!!” Crying is the foregone conclusion here. Reading the story is optional and I’m guessing most people don’t. Comment after comment on these stories reveals a veritable flood of emotion by way of sobbing and crying, “OMG! I’m so sad!!”

1455274219_o-child-sad-facebook

                               Meme: White cop shot her puppy                                                                     Actual truth: found out the ice cream carton is empty.

 

In addition to verbal emoticons and thanks again to the constantly evolving language of internet-speak, social media chatterers also have millions of memes available to share feelings of inspiration, political disdain, and yes, everybody’s favorite: sadness😦.  My personal favorite, which invariably produces a crescendo of tears and heartbreak, are actual photos of sad images which are conveniently taken out of context to…you guessed it, make people cry. If I’ve read it once, I’ve read it a million times, “OMG I’m crying!!” posted after an obviously Photoshopped picture of a baby with feet growing out of its ear, or a dog with no head or torso, but thanks to the generous work of an unsung hero who built a robotic head and other essential organs for the pup it continues to survive, and just look at that neato remote-controlled dolly where the front half of the animal remains cutely stationary while the back legs run and frolic in delight, “That’s so precious!! I cried the whole time I was reading it!!” Continue reading

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Marriage and old Appliances

429-030Marriage. It’s a funny thing. I swore it off after the first time around but I eventually found another guy I figured I could tolerate. He liked me too, back then. Over the past 22 or so years our union has grown into a kind of mutual appreciation of the convenience and efficiency of coupling. That sounds a bit like a PVC elbow connection and I visualize the maze of grey and white pipes hanging under the ceiling joists in my basement. Not a very attractive image but fairly efficient. That’s our marriage. Functional. Efficient.

It’s not that we don’t love each other because I’m sure we do but I have news for the young bride and groom skipping down the aisle: love is a verb. I mean yeah, the early years are all raunchy sex and loud music but eventually the sidewalk needs shoveled, the shitter needs replaced and the chicken needs fried. Somebody invariably has to clean up somebody else’s vomit. That’s where love comes in because nobody does that stuff for fun.

277421_2250269663095_7679568_o

We’re certainly not romantic in any way, although, in spite of my insistence that he not go to any effort or spend any money I get the obligatory (six?) roses every February 14th.  He’s a good guy really and all told, I’m a not a great wife. Still, the relationship works out okay. We have a pretty decent marriage.

Today, however, was one of those times where the old buyer’s remorse (re)surfaces and makes me wonder what the hell I was thinking 22 years ago.

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Dinner Time: Circa 1968

Nothing’s gonna change my world
Jai Guru Deva OM

Eating dinner at my house was pretty much a thirty minute game of survival-of-the-2016-01-19-1453218206-9341429-martin_luther_king_jr__montgomery_arrest_1958most-invisible for the three of us kids. The cleverest of the bunch was able to duck under dad’s radar and avoid pressing whatever hot-button issue was brewing just below the surface for him. Often it was a racism issue or a sex or religion issue or something to do with a current popular song on the radio which fueled–in his mind– an increasing cultural depravity of the generation of anti-establishment teenagers who occupied his classrooms.

Dad hated religion but he hated what society became in its absence even more. I don’t know that he recognized the dichotomy there but it kept him embroiled in an emotional battle that he foisted on his owns kids as he constantly prodded and poked us about concepts he’d caught wind of from his students and from which he was determined to save us.

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David Bowie

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: David Bowie

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Local News on Social Media: Big Fail

I watched a local news program this morning.  The news actors reminded viewers to ‘like and follow’ them on social media sites because watching them on television is not painful enough.   Plus, following them on Facebook and Twitter guarantees viewers won’t miss a single glimpse into the clever personalities they have worked so hard to create for us.

To make the news feeds even more fun, social media news managers occasionally add yummy recipes and tidbits on how to properly raise kids or how to stay warm when it’s cold outside. I mean these people are just downright essential to fans all over the metro area. I’m not sure how I even function without them.  Local news is not just the news anymore.

About the time I posted this piece last year is when I stopped following my local news stations on social media. I don’t have the self-control to avoid making snarky comments for which I am violently thrashed and beaten nearly to death by fans of the station.  It’s not that I care much what the rocket scientists news fans think of me personally but it is a nuisance to wake up in the morning with 57 notifications–52 of which are hate-filled comments about my remark.  Several of the comments come from the news actors themselves demanding to know my qualifications for not liking them.   As my friends in Texas say, the juice just ain’t worth the squeeze anymore.

BREAKING NEWS:

KCTV666: Grab a tissue readers because this next story is relly, relly sad. A real tragedy. Okay, so a guy was walking down a street in the metro and he did something relly mean to another guy walking on the same street. Cops were called and we are waiting for more details. I’ve been crying all day!! Should people be allowed to be relly mean to others on the same street? Keep the comments nice please!

42,000 likes 18,000 shares

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